Q&A with Scott Farrell, President of i2 Construction
Scott Farrell, LEED AP, is president and partner at Denver-based i2 Construction, a full service general contractor with a focus on complex commercial construction projects — ranging from brand forward corporate interiors and technical medical/laboratory facilities, to new building construction and exterior additions/improvements. While embracing his roots of growing up in a small family business, he leads i2’s culture of viewing people as family and understanding that, “What got you here, isn’t going to get you there.”
Facts about Scott:
- Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Construction Management.
- He is an active member of the Denver community, including serving on the Denver Advisory Board, as board president for Family Homestead and as a member of the board of trustees for the Bonfils Blood Center Foundation.
- When Scott isn’t at the office, you can find him spending time with his family in the great outdoors: fishing, skiing, playing hockey or golfing.
1. How did you get started in the construction industry?
Growing up, my dad owned a design-build construction company. By the age of seven, I was already pushing brooms on jobsites, solidifying my passion for construction and entrepreneurship.
I went on to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Construction Management. From the moment I was hired on at i2 as an assistant project manager in 2000, I had my sights set on a path to ownership. I had many years of learning, all while helping to shape the company from the ground up.
2. Is there a biggest lesson learned from 2020 that you and your team are taking into 2021?
While 2020 has looked unlike any year before, I’ve been so appreciative of the deeper bonds we’ve been able to form with our clients and partners. With the mentality of getting through each challenge together, there have been many amazing moments of being able to accomplish more together than any single one of us could do on our own. Humanity surfaced in the business world this year, and that was pretty impeccable to see. Everyone connected on the betterment of humanity, and I hope we don’t lose that in a non-COVID-19 environment.
3. What is something you look forward to tackling in the new year?
I’ve seen the needs of every business fluctuate throughout the year. With that, it’s been an honor to be part of the conversation and hear what people need. To be able to capture that mission and implement it directly into their build-out is an exciting task for all of us at i2. There really is no longer a one-size-fits-all for office space, and we enjoy being open-minded. I have seen that people want and expect special requirements of at least six feet of distance around them while working in an office. It’s a distance that has been emotionally engrained in our minds this year as being something we expect in our building environments. Interesting enough, we also see the need for more collaborative space in office environments to address the absence of human connection that many have felt this year. This combination is likely to carry us into 2021. We are always remaining flexible and accepting that design evolves each day to meet needs, and while we don’t have all the answers right now, we understand that there is still so much emotion surrounding 2020 and the future around COVID-19.
4. How do you keep morale up within your company, even through a COVID-19 environment?
We’ve always been a people-centric company. However, the COVID environment has been a time where we’ve had to find new ways to show this – not regularly seeing our entire staff in the office each day. Right from the beginning, we put an emphasis on finding out what each person needs to be successful and thrive. A deep understanding of the peoples’ lives around us goes a long way, acting on that understanding goes even further.
5. What is one piece of technology that you think has the potential to change the future of office?
I am thankful to have found an option that brings peace of mind to our own employees as they return to work and has served many of our clients in the same way. Through a system called, Global Plasma Solutions, we are able to safely clean the air inside our building by using an electronic charge that creates a plasma field filled with a high concentration of + and – ions. By first retrofitting our own mechanical systems within our office building, we have been able to successfully protect our work environment and bring a sense of comfort about the air we breathe at work. This technology has a long history of disinfecting the air for passengers on aircrafts and is used by the U.S. Air Force. To read more about how to implement this solution in your workplace, click here.